Latvia’s Anastasija Grigorjeva secured gold on the opening day of the Championships for the host ©UWW

Latvia’s Anastasija Grigorjeva gave the host counry the perfect start to the European Wrestling Championships, battling to the gold medal in the women’s 63 kilogram event at the Riga Arena.

It was the fourth European title for the 25-year-old following victories in 2010, 2012 and 2014. 

She again showed her ability by cruising through to the semi-final and where she secured a technical fall victory over Hungary’s Marianna Sastin.

It set up an encounter with 2014 world champion Yulia Tkach, who defeated Russia’s Inna Trazhukova in their semi-final. 

The final finished 3-3 but Grigorjeva secured the victory as she scored with a technique of higher value.

Grigorjeva, however, was unhappy at how badly Tkach took her defeat. 

“Their actions took all of the happiness out of the win,” Grigorjeva said.

“No one gave me a flag to carry around the mat and we [the Latvian fans] didn’t have a chance to celebrate.

“Emotionally it was disappointing.

“In the end, however, it is not important since I will return to training immediately because I want to win a medal at the [Rio 2016] Olympic Games.”

Trazhukova bounced back from her semi-final loss to beat Lithuania’s Indre Bubelyte by a technical fall in her bronze medal match and Sastin defeated Germany’s Nadine Weinauge to book her place on the podium.

Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnyk won her third successive European title in the 48kg title ©UWW
Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnyk won her third successive European title in the 48kg title ©UWW

Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnyk successfully defended her 48kg title by defeating Romania’s Emilia Alina Vuc through a technical fall in their gold medal bout.

The result will provide the World Championship silver medallist with a boost as she seeks to claim the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016, having ended the runner-up at London 2012. 

“I’m so happy to win this title today on International Women’s Day,” said Stadnyk.

“This is a gift to myself.”

Bulgaria’s Elitsa Yankova earned a bronze medal, defeating Russia’s Valentina Islamova 7-6, andB elarus’ Maryna Markevich edged Spain's Eugenia Bustabad Garcia 4-2.

The opening men’s title of the Championships was clinched by Russia’s Gadzhimurad Rashidov with a triumph in the 57kg freestyle event.

The 20-year-old defeated Ukraine’s Andriy Yatsenko 10-2 to secure the first major title of his career.

Romania’s Andrei Dukov sealed a technical fall triumph over Azerbaijan’s Mahir Amiraslanov in the opening bronze medal tie and Bulgaria’s Georgi Vangelov sealed a 7-3 win over Belarus’ Asadulla Lachinau.

A second Russian triumph of the day was claimed by Shamil Kudiiamagomedov.

He claimed a 6-2 victory over Azerbaijan’s Alexander Gostiev 6-2 in their 86kg gold medal bout.

Ukraine’s Ibragim Aldatov sealed a 10-2 victory over Armenia’s Shamir Atyan to secure the first podium position.

Georgia’s Dato Marsagishvili edged to a 5-2 win over Belarus’ Aliaksandr Hushtyn to secure the second bronze.

Action is due to continue in the Latvian capital tomorrow.